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Golden Obikwelu takes 200m title

10 August 2006

Portugal's Francis Obikwelu made it a sprint double when he went away from the field to take 200m gold at the European Championships in Gothenburg.

Obikwelu, who won gold in the 100m on Tuesday, clocked 20.01 ahead of Sweden's Johan Wissman in silver and Britain's Marlon Devonish in third.

Both Obikwelu and Wissman ran national records, while Devonish clocked 20.54.

Devonish said: "I'm disappointed. It's a shame that I didn't run as well in the final as I did in the first round."

Obikwelu, the clear pre-race favourite, led off the bend and accelerated away to win by three metres from the impressive Wissman.

He became the first man since Italian Pietro Mennea in 1978 to win both sprints at the same Europeans.

His time on a damp, windy evening was the best by any European this year and his fastest since he became eligible to compete for Portugal four years ago.

"I did not have a single doubt that I was going to be the winner," said Obikwelu, who was born the year Mennea made history by claiming both sprints at the Prague championships."

"This gold medal is more important and more precious to me than the one for the 100 metres."

"I bet you there will be a lot of partying in Portugal tonight."

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